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Council hit with £70k bill after developer wins planning appeal

A district council faces a costs bill of some £70,000 after a developer successfully appealed against its refusal of planning consent for a housing development.

Planning inspector Peter Rose allowed the appeal by Ashill Land, which had applied to build 167 homes in the village.

He ruled in October that the scheme would incur "definitional harm" as an "inappropriate development" and would impose various levels of moderate-significant harm through loss of openness and through encroachment.

But he said arguments in favour of housing outweighed the impact on Green Belt land.

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The inspector attached "very substantial weight" to the "critically" needed housing benefits of the scheme and "significant weight" to addressing the urgency for school expansion.

Paul Clark, North Hertfordshire District Council’s executive member for planning, said: "Whilst it is disappointing that the planning inspector has allowed this appeal for housing development in the green belt around Codicote ahead of a decision on the local plan, the council has to accept the outcome and notes that the period for any legal challenge has now passed.

“A challenge to the decision could only have been made on a point of law not against the outcome of the appeal itself.”

Ashill Land has been contacted for comment.

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